Harris Lecture Series at the Indian School of Public Policy: Marvin Zonis's Last Lecture
– To introduce a dear friend, philosopher, and guide, Marvin Zonis Marvin taught me in 1988 when I was in Chicago I discovered my papers from his class, class number 482, Politics in a World of Interdependent Economies He gave me a C in my class report and he said it was crap, but we still remained friends And I remember in 1988, when I was deciding whether I should come back to India or stay on in the U.S I told him I wanted to talk to him, he said, come to my office And I went across to his office and I started talking, and within five minutes he told me, Luis, go home to India And that actually was one of the nudges that I needed to sort of start on an incredible journey for the last 30 years So Marvin actually taught in other parts of the university, and he came to Chicago Booth in 1988, and he taught courses on international political economy, political risk and business leadership Today’s talk is on the risks of conflicts across the globe are greater than in decades In 1988, Marvin talked to us about Afghanistan, and he said Afghanistan is going to be a huge problem And a lot of us said, what’s the big deal about Afghanistan? No one cares about it And then 911 happened and everybody knew about Afghanistan So he’s had the ability to talk about things that we don’t see today He just turned 84 last week, and I’d hope that I am at 84 as alert as he is He was the first professor at a business school to teach a course on the effects of digital economies on global businesses He consulted two corporations and professional asset management firms throughout the world, helping them identify, assess and manage their political risk in a changing global environment In fact there’s a story behind this t-shirt, this t-shirt is 21 years old And it was given to me by a bunch of his students when they came on an assignments funded by Anderson Consulting, I think, and is called Team India, 1999, he would send students across the world to study specific topics across it And I still have this t-shirt since it’s good quality, Marvin, you had good funding by your sort of sponsors And he was on the board of advisors for the controller general of the United States at the GAO, he’s been on the board of CNA Financial, he’s been a fellow of PWC advisory services, and he’s written extensively I urge you guys to get onto his mailing list, and he sends a newsletter, which is interesting and it’s for free Marvin has also been a leading authority on the Middle East and has spent the last 50 years studying the region and Islam The Scharf Iran was somebody he knew, he’s been the president of the American Institute of Iranian Studies He’s lived in Iran, or as he says Iran, he’s hitchhiked all over Afghanistan and Pakistan He studied at Yale, he studied at Harvard Business School and I think he got his PhD at MIT And he’s also studied at the Institute for Psychoanalysis in Chicago Our kids know him, which is why they’re attending this talk because they’re great fans of his, Hassan is in Chicago and they love both him and his wife, Lucy And many years ago, I asked him whether he’d come to India and speak at our investor conference in Mumbai, and our investors still remember the great talk he did And the reason why I asked Marvin to talk is because he invariably says something nice about me, even though he didn’t like the paper that I wrote way back in 1988 And I’m going to end with something which a more famous student of his said, Satya Nadella, who is the CEO of Microsoft was asked about five years ago regarding the Chicago style thinking is there a Booth class
that was particularly memorable? Remember, this is the CEO of Microsoft And this was his response, it was the class that I took with professor Marvin Zonis on leadership He stressed that EQ trumps IQ in the long-run that E for empathy And with that, Marvin, over to you – Thank you very much, Luis I’m touched by your introduction How’s the sound everybody, can you hear me? Just a couple of notes before I begin One is, you go to my website, marvinzonis.com M-A-R-V-I-N Z-O-N-I-S.com, and enter your email and you’ll be on my mailing list for my periodic distributions about which Luis just spoke And you don’t have to read them if you get them and you don’t like them and you can feel free to unsubscribe anytime you like And as we say in the United States, the price is right, zero So you might like to see some of these thoughts I have or articles I deem important which other people have written, which I send out The second thing I’d like to say is that my relationship with Luis which began in 1988 and has continued to the present it has as been as meaningful for me as Luis just described it has been meaningful for him And we have remained close friends We remained in touch for a variety of reasons over the years, since his graduation from Chicago in 1989 And I don’t have to tell you how proud I am personally but how proud Booth School of Businesses is at the contributions which Luis has made to the development of his country, which he loves deeply and to the betterment of the Indian people And so this has been a very touching relationship to me because of the service which Luis has committed to his country and must be said To the service which his wife Fiona also commits on a daily basis, both deeply involved now in not for profit activities in India Final thing I want to say in introduction is, remember what I’ve already said to you which is, please if there’s confusion, if there’s disagreement, you really liven up our conversation if you didn’t wait till the end in order to wave your hand and get recognized and let’s have the discussion at the point of my saying something that wasn’t clear or that with which you disagree And that would be great You’d stimulate this talk, make it much more interesting So I want to talk about risks to the global economy in the form of geopolitical risks in terms of: What is it that leads to conflict, and what conflicts might we see in the near future? Where do conflicts come from, and what are the most likely candidates to disintegrate into conflict? And, you know, I am sure that when you think about the sources of conflict between countries, there are examples which leap to mind which sort of establish categories of kinds of conflict So give you an example, twice Saddam Hussein invaded neighboring countries He invaded Iran in September of 1980 and he did that in order to try to steal Iranian oil fields which were in the Southwest of the country and that is to say, adjacent to the existing border with Iraq And so Saddam was trying to increase his wealth by stealing oil fields from other people So the idea of acquiring natural resources new sorts of wealth et cetera, is an example of conflicts which occur quite frequently and indeed, Saddam, remember, had done it twice because he also invaded Kuwait to take over the entire
oil industry of Kuwait, and there was only a United Nations effort led by the United States which forced Saddam out of Kuwait Failing in Kuwait he then went and tried to invade Iran So that’s a typical kind of class of conflict I’ll give you another example of a class of conflict, and that is, oftentimes members of one nationality are located in a cluster in the territory of a different country than the nationality they represent And countries often feel the need to invade a country in order to protect the members of their own nationality So we’ve seen so many examples of that For example, there are pockets within the Independent Republic of Georgia, which are inhabited by Russians, and the Russian State has invaded Georgia to prevent government of Georgia from exercising authority over its territories in which Russians live And to this day, there are now enclaves within Georgia which are really in effect controlled by Russia because there are pockets of Russians living in those enclaves Another example of course is, Russia coming to the aid of Russians living in Eastern Ukraine in two provinces in the East of Ukraine, which are inhabited entirely by Russian speaking people and insisting that those two provinces of Ukraine either be independent or be part of Russia itself So that’s entirely separate from a different class of conflicts that come from natural resources We know of a third class of conflicts which should be on everyone’s mind And that is the idea that there’s a piece of territory there in one country that justly belongs to another country And that would be the best example of that of course is Crimea, the province of Ukraine on the Southern tip of Ukraine in the Black Sea which Nikita Khrushchev who was from Ukraine gave to Ukraine from Russia I believe it was, I actually I don’t remember when was it, back in 1962 and which upon his death and later on Russia said that was unfairly done, shouldn’t have been given to Ukraine, it was historically part of Russia and it should remain part of Russia And in 2014 Vladimir Putin send in the troops and conquered and seized Crimea to make it part of Russian territory despite it being attached to Ukraine So there are these typical sources of conflict with which we are all familiar There are obviously many others For example, why did the Japanese attack the United States at Pearl Harbor in 1941, December 7th? And the answer is, because United States had imposed sanctions on Japan to deny Japan sources of oil, given that Japan had invaded China and seized Manchuria and was moving further South into China, United States imposed sanctions on oil which obviously Japan desperately needed for its military and to try to break out of the sanctions, acquire oil, Japan decided disastrously obviously in retrospect that it would make a sneak attack against the United States and destroy its Pacific Naval fleet which was based in Pearl Harbor in Hawaii, and that would allow Japan to then dominate the Pacific Well, they did destroy a lot of Naval equipment but not enough and United States rebuilt and Japan was defeated, but nonetheless it was another attempt Another typical source of conflict turned out to be, well I don’t want to talk about those today You all know about those, they’re all pretty obvious What I want to talk about today is something very different
I want to talk about something that I believe is today the greatest source of interstate conflict And I want to alert you to this source of conflict, help explain the source of conflict to you and why it is so important And I believe in addition to being its principle source of global conflict, this idea is also extraordinarily important in interpersonal conflict, in relationships among your individuals, in your relationships with your friends and your family, and the people with whom you have to deal, whether it’s in the workplace or are not in the workplace And I think as you proceed through the Indian School of Public Policy and as you graduate, and as hopefully you acquire significant positions related to public policy, whether it be analyzing public policy, whether it be enacting public policy, whether it be carrying out public policy, I hope the ideas that I am going to leave with you this morning will be crucial to improving your ability to be effective in the jobs you take on for the betterment of your own country And I agreed to do this talk not so much because the pay is great, zero, and not so much because I felt an obligation to Luis, although I always do feel an obligation to Luis, but because I believe that the School of Public Policy is a crucial good for the future of India I just can’t imagine right now what could be better for India then effective public policy So I congratulate you for attending the school and I hope what I’m about to tell you has some significant relationship to your futures as public policy specialists So let me see if I can get my slides up here All right Can you see my slides? Good Luis, thanks I do believe that we are at a stage in global politics in which the risks of conflict are really just staggeringly great And the way I want to begin to understand this is through emotional factors Luis mentioned that I had, let me give you a little background and amplify what Luis had said I arrived at the University of Chicago and I can’t even believe this ’cause it was so long ago, I arrived at the University of Chicago to teach in the Political Science Department, to teach a Middle Eastern politics in the fall of 1966 So I taught for over 50 years at the University of Chicago I had started to study the Middle East in a serious way in 1960 I lived in Iran from 1963 to ’66, I came back to MIT where I worked on my thesis, I got a job at University of Chicago, I came to teach Middle Eastern politics So after about 15 years of studying the Middle East, I realized that I wasn’t getting it I knew everything there was to know about the Middle East, I didn’t understand it What are these people doing? I couldn’t figure out what was going on And I realized the reason I couldn’t figure out what was going on in the Middle East was because, I was using the stuff I had learned at the Harvard Business School, I was using the stuff I had learned at MIT in political science That’s not what’s going on in the Middle East What’s going on in the Middle East are emotions, are people’s feelings, are people’s passions, are people’s commitments And I realized I didn’t know anything about emotions So in order to try to understand international politics better, I applied and was admitted to the Institute for Psychoanalysis in Chicago, where they teach mainline fluently and you know, you lie in the couch and you do the talking cure as it’s called,
where they train psychoanalyst So I was trained as a psychoanalyst, and I came out of that committed to the idea that emotions are the key issue which one needs to understand if one wants to understand what is going on One of my teachers was a man named Heinz Kohut Heinz Kohut was a psychoanalyst, he fled Vienna in 1939, he was Jewish , and he was about to be rounded up by the Nazis He got himself to Chicago and turns out he enrolled at the University of Chicago Psychiatry Department, became a psychiatrist and then ultimately was trained as a psychoanalyst And in my judgment, Heinz Kohut is the second most important figure in psychoanalysis in the 20th century after Sigmund Freud I mean, of course he was the father of this whole business And Kohut came up with the idea of the self And the self is made up of all the emotional intellectual factors that make an individual out of a person, or make an individual into a distinct person, that’s a better way to put it So the point is, you know, what is it that makes Luis Miranda, Luis Miranda and not Marvin Zonis is that Luis has had a variety of personal experiences from his childhood to the present that the combination of those experiences and his genetic makeup create a distinctive human being called Luis Miranda and that concatenation, that cluster of factors that makes him different from me, the self of Luis Miranda also represents the integrity of Luis Miranda, so that a threat to the self is really a very threat to the integrity of Luis Miranda In other words, if Luis Miranda or Marvin Zonis, or any of you in this call are humiliated, that is perceived as an attack on the integrity of the self So this is what Kohut claimed, and he developed an entire set of ideas around the self and around an attack on the self or humiliation of the self So what is humiliation? Anytime an individual feels disrespected, loses stature, is made to feel shame, is reduced in pride, he fails to recognize the dignity of others, he feels powerless, he’s being forced into some situation, he is ridiculed, scorned, treated with contempt, embarrassed, that is a humiliation So my argument would be that to be humiliated in some–one of these many ways–is a normal reality of everyday life I’m humiliated all the time I mean, I feel that people don’t treat me properly I do something which makes me embarrassed How could I have said that to that person? I feel reduced, I feel shrunk I’m not, myself has been damaged by my failure to act or by people’s failure to act appropriately towards me So it’s not that humiliation occurs once every six months or once every year and a half, humiliations happen all the time And if you’re lucky, these humiliations aren’t powerful, they aren’t overwhelming, you sort of roll with the punch Can any of you think of, or would you be willing to share with us any time that you’ve been humiliated recently that you can think of? Try to think of an occasion when you’ve been humiliated And if you could share that with us – Professor Zonis, so I’ll go,
I’ll try to answer the question So back in my last job, I had to constantly answer questions that my boss was present, but I was in a group of five other people Every time I post an answer or I’ll try to answer this question, he would never take my answer, he wouldn’t even consider it as an option So that happened multiple times, and that I felt humiliated at such a situation – Thank you very much for sharing that That’s a perfect example of humiliation, where you weren’t treated with the respect that you believe you deserve And this guy was a jerk I mean, how was he going to expect you to perform at any level of competence if he’s embarrassing you in front of your colleagues, if he’s humiliating you? So if you can all think of the humiliation that you may have experienced, that would be good And the next thing to think about is, what did you do when you had been humiliated? You know, that’s an interesting question What’s the result of a perceived humiliation? And, the argument that Kohut made is that every perceived humiliation is followed by rage, not just kind of angry, well, I didn’t like that, no rage I mean really being angry, and every time one is really angry, you can be sure that there was a humiliation that occurred before that real anger And so, the question is what’s the consequence of the anger? Well, on the one hand, rage can be very productive because you can be enraged and then say, I’ll show that guy, he thinks I’m no good I’m going to get on my, I’m going to work hard, I’m going to come up with new ideas, I’m going to show him that I can really do it So if you want to try to prove your worth, that can be very productive or imagine another highly productive way to deal with humiliation which is, I’m so angry I’m going to gym and I’m going to work it off So, you know, that’s a very productive way to deal with anger is to contribute to your own physical health Imagine all the negative things there are about humiliation, the rage that follows humiliation, one of which is, terribly destructive in the United States, I don’t know what the situation is like in India but I can tell you that a massive amount of alcoholism in the United States comes from individuals who are enraged And there’s a kind of expression in the United States that covers this idea which is, oh, you’re angry, oh, I need a drink Let’s have a drink, let’s have a drink And there’s a lot of that And obviously, alcohol is not a good situation for the individual’s physical and mental health, but it’s one way that people deal with humiliation So my point is there is positive results of humiliation It doesn’t have to be all negative, and there are negative consequences of humiliation And so my argument is that there’s a lot more humiliation around and it has a lot more negative consequences than we can imagine So for example, here is a graffito on the wall of a city in Santiago, Chile, and it says, “Unemployment is humiliation.” And that’s exactly right Why is unemployment humiliation? Let me ask you, why is unemployment humiliation? Anybody? – Yeah, professor, I would like to try that – Please – So if you’re unemployed, it basically means the society has not thought of you as a worthy person, or the society does not attach a value to you So that might give you a feeling of humiliation – I think that’s absolutely right I mean, listen, work is a crucial part of human dignity While, you know, we all derive meaning, think about this Where does the meaning in life come from? And I hope all of you [sic] are working on the question of how do you get your life to be meaningful?
I hope your education is helping And one answer is, well, there are three sources of meaning One is religion or faith of some kind, one is family and loved ones, and one is work And if you don’t have work, that’s a crucial pillar of the meaning of life and the value you have within a society So, you know, unemployment, which is very high now in the United States and other countries in India, unemployment is a form of humiliation Here’s another form of humiliation Here’s the number of days it took for prices to double at the peak of hyperinflation So the worst hyperinflation as you can see occurred in Hungary in 1946 where it took less than one day for prices to double So prices were doubling every three quarters of a day or Zimbabwe You can see what happened in Germany It took four and a quarter days for prices to double in Germany in 1923 So this is a picture of hyperinflation And why was hyperinflation a humiliation? Because of course it destroyed everyone’s sense of coherence and of wealth, and no matter what assets you had they were destroyed in this hyperinflation, and hyperinflation produced huge humiliations with usual internal consequences that were highly negative And of course the German consequence which was the most negative was that this unemployed postcard painter living in poverty in Vienna in 1923, was able to become the chancellor of Germany in 1933 because of the humiliation which so many Germans had suffered both by the loss of World War I, and also by the hyperinflation of 1923 And with disastrous consequences, there’s another person that experienced profound humiliation, and as you can see, one of the good things he’s doing in response to his humiliation is he’s working out This is always a good idea after you’ve been humiliated, it’s good for your mental health, and it’s good for you physical health, but President Putin in case you don’t think he had been humiliated is famous for this expression which is, the collapse of the Soviet Union was the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the century Well, it’s interesting if you think back to the 20th century through a lot of which I lived, how about World War I? How about the influenza epidemic of 1918? How about the hyperinflation I’ve just been over? How about the big global depression, 1928, 1932 How about World War II? How about the atom bomb? You know, there were a lot of really geopolitical catastrophes in the 20th century And whereas most people thought that the collapse of the Soviet Union was a good thing, Putin sees it as a profound humiliation, and he has been striking back ever since And of course, the president of China is in the same boat as President Putin, and the boat he’s in, in China, is a boat that all the leaders of 20th century China have been in These are the three leaders of China, Sun Yat-sen who made the revolution in 1911 and had a Republic Chiang Kai-shek, the Nationalist leader trying to consolidate power and ultimately losing to the Communists, and Mao Zedong in 1949 And if you go over every one of those guys, they all said the same thing And it’s the same thing that president Sen says, was that China has experienced profound humiliation at the hands of foreign powers And of course I wouldn’t argue with them ’cause I think there’s a lot of truth to this idea What’s the history of China? Somebody give me the 19th century history of China
You guys remember? I’ll tell you what the history of China was Britain was importing huge amounts of tea from China, running a massive trade deficit with China because Britain wasn’t selling anything in China but only importing tea from China So the British in their genius looked around and said, what are we going to do about this trade deficit? You know, the British were as stupid in the 19th century as Donald Trump is in this week But I’m trying to control myself I won’t go there right now Anyhow, what was the British solution to the trade deficit? The British solution to the trade deficit is, “What an idea! We’ll grow opium in India, we’ll export it to China and that will eliminate the trade deficit.” So Britain and China fought wars in the 19th century called the Opium Wars because the Chinese were trying to forbid the importation of opium into China, appreciating how bad it was for the Chinese people, and Britain won the Wars, and Britain acquired for example Hong Kong, as a prize from one of the victories of the Opium Wars And so indeed imagine inflicting the opium addiction on the Chinese people as a solution to a trade deficit So yes, the Chinese were humiliated, certainly in the 19th century and until recently Well, the point is, that humiliation continues to drive Chinese behavior So here’s a quote from one of the important Chinese intellectuals And you can read this on your own, in which he talks about, unconsciously the humiliation continues to drive the behavior of Chinese people in the present day, to the present day On an emotional level we cannot help but associate treatment in the present with past injuries, defeats, invasions and occupations So the humiliation is a powerful force driving China Here’s one example of the way that the humiliation played out Imagine three meters too short they had to revise the entire visit because the red carpet wasn’t long enough and that represented some kind of humiliation that the British were inflicting once again on China So these humiliations run deep, they generate rage and they cause behaviors which are not necessarily driven by rational concerns but are emotional issues that lead countries to do things that they might not otherwise do And here’s one example which has been one might say catastrophic for India Here’s an example of a humiliation that China experienced that’s led to the problems that it has today with India, which is, Britain forced an agreement on China which China refused to establish called the McMahon Line, but which at the time Tibet had enough autonomy to accept, and so the British forced this treaty And which now, because it was a treaty between Tibet and Britain, India says is a line of control and then but China said, we never signed this treaty So that kind of refusal by China based again on the humiliation is an example of something that causes present problems So just to bring this section to a conclusion, to try to illustrate to you how powerful this emotional idea of humiliation is, I want you to see that humiliations don’t go away in a minute or two, that the rage has a possibility of being positive, that’s we’ll show you we can come up with good solutions or, but the argument I want to make is,
at this moment, the rage from humiliation is now the most powerful factor, or, at least one of the most powerful factors driving the risks of conflicts across the globe And so what I want to do is go over some of these conflicts and show you the power of rage driven by humiliation Before I do that, let’s take a pause and I want to ask you if there’s any comments or questions or ideas Go ahead young man – Yes, professor So I wanted to ask a question about manufactured humiliation Is there such a thing where there isn’t any real humiliation when you look at history, but leaders uses an opportunity to stir up emotions and use it for their own advantage Is there such thing as manufactured humiliation? And if so, have you seen it? – There’s very definitely manufactured humiliation in which leaders try to stir up the passion of the crowds in order to justify some policy which their leader tries to do However, in order for it to be effective, there usually has to be at least some modicum of a basis for why people would buy into that leader’s claim And, you know, I don’t want to get on tricky grounds here because I don’t know as much about this situation as the situation that you know about in your own country which is the historic well, I’m thinking of the incidents in which there have been racial or religious wars I shouldn’t say against Muslims in India, stirred up by politicians which led the crowd to go bananas but I’ll give you a better example right now about something which I know about which is going on in my own country And that is that the President of the United States interested in being re-elected in November of this year is stirring up racial animosity in the United States, between whites and blacks and between whites and Latinos as a way to get his base to get off their butts and go to vote And so he exaggerates for example, or no let me put it this way, he conflates meaning he puts together the idea of black protests against racial injustice with black violence and looting, which has also occurred So that has been a little of this looting and violence but Donald Trump would have you believe that every instance of a protest with people, for example are marching peacefully through a downtown Chicago street with posters saying, we demand racial justice, is an example of a fascist, anarchist assault on white people And that seems to be working A lot of white people are buying into that So it helps if there’s a little bit of violence ’cause if there were no violence, then it would be harder for him to make the sale as we say But yes, I think there’s no question that leaders can exaggerate the intensity and the extent of a humiliation – Professor, I have a question – [Professor] Please – So can this be applied to the Pakistan’s hostile state sponsored terrorism towards India because of the 1971, humiliating 1971 partition of Eastern and Western Pakistan? – Well, you know, let me give you another, let me answer that with another Freudian, excuse me Another concept I haven’t given you any Freudian concept yet but Freud had a very to me, powerful idea, and Freud referred to it as over determination And the argument that Freud made was that any important decision
that an individual makes has more than one cause And so think about, I don’t know, are any of you married? There’s a guy who is married Think about getting married You know, when I think about my marriage, which thank you Lord is a good one When I think about my marriage, and I say to myself, why did I marry this woman? You know, and the the superficial answer is, well, I was in love with her Well, you know, why that’s not an interesting answer The question is, yeah, of course The question is, why were you in love with her? Anyhow, I go through the factors that led me to marry this woman and it turns out that there’s more than one There are many factors that contributed together to make the decision for me And so that’s what he meant by overdetermination Any significant decision that’s made, has many components And so it would be wrong to attribute Pakistan’s behavior to one single phenomenon, which is the 1971 humiliation Remember also that the military is in control of Pakistan And one of the ways they justify their control of Pakistan is by up-playing a so-called threat from India So because they can sell the Pakistani people on the idea that India is a constant threat to the future of Pakistan And look what happened to East Pakistan, we have to be in control and Imran Khan is not really running the show We are both putting them up in front ’cause we need a civilian That’s another factor And they want to justify, in other words the military control of the Pakistani State, why? ‘Cause it’s good for the military I mean, you know, they get big salaries and they have a lot of money to buy their weapons and their nuclear things So I wouldn’t want to say that humiliation is the only cause and we could have an interesting discussion about whether it’s the definitive cause, but what’s important is that I want you to see that it’s part of the equation that leads to Pakistani conflict, or Pakistani hostility I should say, to India And, you know India has its own issues with Pakistan I mean, it’s fascinating that India remains the largest donor of foreign aid to Afghan’s government after the United States And so India is very strong in Afghanistan They donated the parliament building to the Afghan government And why are they doing that? Well, you may know the reasons better than I but I’ll tell you the way the Pakistanis see it which is, they’re going to be when the United States pulls out, Pakistan is going to be in an Indian sandwich, it’s going to be India to the South and the Southeast, it’s going to be India controlling Afghanistan to the Northwest and Pakistan is going to get squeezed in And so, you know this is a very complex set of relationships here Any other questions? – Professor Zonis, hi, I have a question – Yes Hi Mehica – [Mehica] Hi – I got to know Mehica ’cause she spent a year in Chicago as an intern in a famous Chicago theater company called Steppenwolf And so I didn’t only get the pleasure of knowing her brother who was a student at the University of Chicago, but I got to know Mehica in her time in Chicago – It was good time and you’re all really lucky that you’ll get to hear from professor Zonis Professor Zonis, I had a question So, you’re talking about the last few months especially in the U.S., there’s been a lot of talk about defunding the police and what that means is to take away money from weaponry and other use that was peacemaking and providing police with psychologists and coping mechanisms and teach us to really ease rage and ease unconscious or even conscious reactions that aren’t called for So is there a scope for this on a grander scale where you’re
activating psychology to look after these reactions in larger political context? Or do you think this is something that is just involuntary and this is just how life is going to continue on? – Yeah, this is a very important political issue in my country right now And let me say a few more words about it and then try to answer Mehica’s question And that is that there’s been part of Black Lives Matter has been the idea of defunding the police And of course, a huge controversy has arisen in the United States over what does it mean to defund the police and the superficial stupid interpretation of what it means is that if the police have a budget now of $1 billion a year in some big city, let’s give them only $800 million a year and they’ll have to shrink the size of the police force This is not what defunding the police is about Although the Republican party and Donald Trump argued that that’s what it’s about What defunding the police is about is to take functions away from the police department, which are not central to the role of policing and assign them to other agencies better equipped to deal with policing functions So, you know, think about what is the function of the police? And if you go back into history, as to why police were created, the real answer is the police are created in order to protect the integrity of the property of the bourgeoisie The police were created to protect the integrity, the property of the classes who had enough money to have property from the predations of the lower classes who were trying to steal the property Well, if you come to America now, the police have so many functions For example, traffic violations, for example, domestic disputes between members of families, that the police are involved in a tremendous number of issues for which they are not necessarily well-trained And the idea would be in defunding the police, to have for example, a group of people trained to deal with domestic disturbances as they’re called, which usually means fights between husbands and wives or between children and parents, trained to deal with the domestic issues which the police are not trained to deal with Police are trained to deal with criminals and the protection of property And another example about defunding the police is traffic violation Why are police spending their times stopping speeding cars and giving tickets? This is not a crucial function for police Let’s get somebody else to do that So that’s the real theory behind this and the idea would be, if the police were removed from responsibility, for example, intruding into domestic violence cases, they could spend better more time being trained more effectively to deal with real criminal activity So that’s the theory Now, how it’s going to play out will be determined by who gets elected in this country I’m afraid to say, which is pretty much up in the air right now If you want to know how appalling Americans are, just think about that, that the outcome of this election is in doubt when you have a man who is a psychopathic narcissistic liar running for president But let’s move on Any other questions? – Hey, there’s Fiona (indistinct) – [Fiona] Hi, Marvin (indistinct)
– Is anyone else asking a question? So what does it mean that you began with the concept of self and humiliation basically relating to personalities and leaderships? So when we think in that context, when we usually talk about conflicts, it’s only the geopolitical aspect and the security aspect that usually is talked about and discussed However, the actual overarching aspect is really the things that you spoke, the leadership, the personalities, the recipient, the views of those countries, and the issues that arise out of those entities, are those the actual issues that determine conflict? – I want to be sure I, excuse me, I want to be sure I understood what you were asking Would you kind of repeat the heart of your question? – What I’m trying to say is, aren’t these social identities, aspects like leadership personalities, are the ones that are actually responsible for conflict, and not the usual debate around geopolitics and military and security? – Well, of course what I want to argue is that a very important factor in moving leaders to seek conflict, a very important factor not necessarily the only factor that’s over determination, not necessarily the determining factor but an important contribution is this concept of humiliation that leaders are humiliated, they feel they represent the self of their country, and they feel they have been humiliated by any number of factors and they are going to strike back So let me turn to a couple of examples and then I’ll stop it Again let’s just take one example Here are the ones I want to just cover, and there are many, many others, but in the interest of time constraints I’m just going to talk about these four And let’s just turn to China I mean, China is the big guy on the block as we say in my country, this is numero uno for trouble in almost everywhere around the periphery of China there is trouble, obviously there’s trouble with India, we know that And then there’s trouble all the way around Southeast Asia, East Asia, and it’s because of China’s new aggression So let’s talk about what’s going on with China First, there’s been a staggering increase, sorry, guys And let me just take a drink here There’s been a staggering increase in China’s military modernization and the extraordinary rise in the capability of China’s military in which they are now spending many times per year on the military than India is spending on the Indian military, and it has produced tremendous military gains for China So this is just one example of the gain that China has produced Here as a mobile missile, you see it’s being driven around on a truck and it’s called the DF-26 And it’s known as the Guam Express And of course, what’s the advantage of a mobile missile is you, you know China’s a very big country, you spread these missiles all over China, you can’t find them, you can’t destroy them They go out on the highway and they shoot off the missile right from the truck Why is it called the Guam Express? Well, if you’d take a look at your map someday, go to Google Maps or whatever you use in India, and look where the Island of Guam is and you will see how far away in the Pacific Guam is from the Chinese mainland And the reason it’s called the Guam Express is because this missile is meant to land anywhere between the Chinese mainland and the Island of Guam
way out in the Pacific because it is between the Chinese mainland and the Island of Guam that American aircraft carriers operate And so in the event of a conflict between China and the United States, aircraft carriers that went east of Guam in other words towards the Chinese mainland to attack China, would be able to be destroyed by China sending up this missile and having it go down and land directly on the deck of an aircraft carrier, an American aircraft carrier, which would mean the American aircraft carriers just have to stay west, oh, sorry, I gave you the wrong directions, west of Guam is dangerous, east of Guam is safe But the problem with being east of Guam is, very far away from the Chinese mainland So China has been developing its own new class of weaponry And you all understand everything I trust about weapons which is, there’s no such thing as a defensive weapon Here, oh, as you can say, well, China is trying to save itself from American aircraft carriers But the reality is every weapons system is offensive China wants to have conflict, it can then launch these missiles to destroy American aircraft carriers, and have a greater likelihood of succeeding in its conflict because it’s been able to destroy American aircraft carriers or at least keep them so far away from China that China can carry on with its conflict So there’s quite an amazing amount of modernization in China And by the way, I didn’t even mention the aircraft carriers which China is itself building, now they have two aircraft carriers And we see this crazy situation I mean, can you imagine this? I mean, you are much more familiar with it than I am, but when I read about this, Chinese troops marching within Indian troops, two feet apart I mean, is this a formula for conflict, or is this a formula for conflict? I mean, this is absolutely madness and it doesn’t seem to be under control right now Here’s another example of my concern about China So here’s a map, excuse me Here’s a map of China And you can see Southeast Asia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, et cetera and then Indonesia and Malaysia, and on the right is the Philippines And suddenly China issues a map And it never talks about this map, it only shows this map, and it’s called a Nine Dash Line because if you go through the map, turns out that there’s one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine red dashes, it’s called the Nine Dash Line Well, it turns out that when you push Chinese officials, they now claim that all of the territory within the nine lines belong to China, are sovereign Chinese territory So it’s interesting because the distance from China to Malaysia or from the bottom red line to China is 1,000 miles Nobody recognize 1,000 miles of sea as a sovereign territory of another country You know, there’s whole issues of whether or not an island drops off or carries on and how far out from that island whether 12 kilometers whatever but 1,000 miles is not in the cards And these lines define Chinese sovereign territory, which is contradictory to the claims of everyone of these riparian countries, Vietnam, Malaysia and the Philippines in particular claim possession of parts of this territory And so, you know what China has been doing ’cause you all been reading about it, which is, it goes back, takes these islands down here in the Spratly sea, I guess you can’t see this can you?
My pen on this Island Can you see my pen on this Island? No, no, you can’t It takes these reefs and builds up the reefs And here is a poster, the islands on the South China sea are part of our beautiful motherland And these are all over China now And it shows one of the islands that has been built up from kind of underwater reef into a real island And as you can see with a very long runway which violates further international law about not militarizing islands that are built in the sea, and there are many of those islands This is Woody Island, you can see the buildings along the runway and radar stations on the island further to the right you can see that white dome, and here’s Johnson Island, which has anti-aircraft weapons and anti-aircraft rockets, you know, missile batteries that can be aimed at incoming aircraft if they were ever to attack this quote Chinese Island So you have here Chinese examples of aggression manifested in the physical transformation of territory in order to seize the right to claim an island on its own To claim that the South China sea belongs exclusively to China And now we have China’s security laws extended to Hong Kong And the one system, two systems, one country that was entered into by China that was not to expire in 2047 is now gone by the boards So the Chinese have violated this international agreement which they made with the British I’ll never forget, wait a minute, hold on I’m going to get my throat back I’ll never forget this meeting I had, you know, the 50 year relationship between China and Hong Kong, it’s supposed to end in the year 2047 And I’ll never forget my conversation with the head of the Chinese Securities and Exchange Commission I was in Hong Kong and I was interviewing a lot of guys And one of the guys I interviewed was the head of the SEC as we call it in America, the guy who supervised the stock market, about this relationship between one country, two systems, how was that going to work? What was going to happen? The guy looks at me and he said, this Hong Kong guy looks at me and he says, what we’re working on here in Hong Kong is that in 2047, instead of China taking over Hong Kong, Hong Kong is going to take over China And in other words, that Hong Kong would bring the democracy and the freedom of speech that Hong Kong enjoyed to transform all of China rather than the other way around And of course, China understood that, and understood that’s what all these demonstrations for democracy have been, and that they did represent the true danger to the future of the repression and autocracy of China And so they enacted these new security laws which have essentially eliminated freedom in Hong Kong And just another example of the anger and the passion and the drive of China to achieve what it considers its rightful place in the world After the humiliations that it’s suffered over the centuries And now the next target has been Taiwan, and China has been sending missiles across the straits into the waters around Taiwan as a warning to what could be the fate of Taiwan if it tried in fact
to become truly independent and not consider itself part of China, but rather a totally independent country And so there’s so many examples of Chinese aggression that we have witnessed recently under Shein And what’s so interesting about that is, why is this happening? I mean, things going great in China, right? The economy is great Exports are higher than they had been They’ve controlled the virus I mean, why does he need all this international adventure stuff? And I tell you it’s because this sense of humiliation that China has never been allowed to achieve its rightful place in the world is historically justifiable [Sic] is driving China to take risks which I consider to be stupid and dangerous especially when we have a stupid and dangerous president in the United States So we now are into this terrible situation in which one country baits the other country, one country responds vigorously and vociferously against the actions of the other country And there’s a real risk of a significant confrontation between China and the United States, which would be total stupidity and a total waste of time in the sense of it’s not the central agenda that either of our countries has And I want to conclude this China discussion with just one more idea that I want you to know about, which is that Russia between 1858 and 1860, seized huge amounts of territory from what was China at the time, all this pink stuff, the brown stuff and the pink stuff were part of China And what happened was, bizarre at the time, decided he wanted to know what was going on in his Eastern, in his far Eastern territory’s far as Siberia And you all know how big Russia is And so there was very poor communication, there was no railroad There was no telegraph at the time from Moscow out to here And so he put together a exploration party and they sent it out there and the guys came back into Moscow And reported to the Tsar that there was all this territory out there that belongs to China, China had no army, it was there for the taking If Russia could send an army out there they could vastly increase the size of the Russian empire So the Tsar said, this is a great idea I have no money, I don’t know how to put together an army What should I do? And what did his advisors say you remember? Sell Alaska to the Americans Alaska is, who needs Alaska? What the hell is in Alaska? It belonged to Russia at the time So the Russians sold Alaska to America The Americans bought Alaska The Russians took the money, put together an army, went out into Eastern Siberia and seized this territory from China Since then, China has accepted the permanence of that new black border, right above the word Manchuria But I am telling you, this is going to be irksome to China over time They will not be happy with the Russian seizure Of this territory This is another humiliation that a foreign power inflicted on China, just like the British inflicted one, this is another one inflicted by Russia And somewhere down the line, China is going to want to rectify this humiliation against Russia So it’s not in the cards right now because China and Russia share a hatred of the United States But at some point, this is going to be an issue that’s going to arise ’cause it is another humiliation Anyhow, that’s I want you to know the way I see humiliation operating on China in order to be aggressive when otherwise everything seems so perfect for China
I’ll stop and invite your comments And what do you think about China and any questions? – Professor, there’s a question here So looking at the way things are going, is it fair for us to say that the presence of the U.S in Southeast Asia is going to be pre-Vietnam war levels? And they’re going to actually shift their focus from Eastern Europe to Southeast Asia and in doing so gives a lot more access to Russia to do whatever they want in Eastern Europe – Well, that’s a very interesting question Strategic thinkers in America have been saying for quite a while, that there’s a comparability between Great Britain and Europe and Japan and Asia And the one way to think about the comparability is that Britain is a permanently anchored aircraft carrier from which American forces can operate against Europe And in the same sense Japan is a permanently anchored aircraft carrier from which American forces can operate against Asia which in this case of course means China In the case of Britain that of course means Russia So there have been for many years, the idea of moving American power to Japan to use it against China, and Prime Minister Abe, who has just stepped down in China, was in that sense a crucial ally of the United States because he was trying to increase Japan’s own military capabilities and get over the self-imposed restrictions on the use of Chinese, sorry Japanese military imposed at the end of World War II And so he’s gone now, but it appears that his chief of staff who has become prime minister will assume the same role as Abe did when he was prime minister So yes, there is this idea that on the one hand the United States would shift its focus to Asia to counter China On the other hand, the rise of Russian aggression which I will come to later in my talk gives pause to this idea because there is this fear that Russian aggression in the Middle East where it has been most manifested reasonably and Ukraine won’t be restricted to Ukraine in the Middle East but will be extended even possibility into Europe So it’s a challenge for the United States And of course president Trump doesn’t understand any of this This is beyond his capability of understanding So for example, he had a personal humiliation with chancellor Merkel, whom he felt did not treat him with the respect he deserved In fact, she blew him off and the result of that was, he decided to pull U.S troops out of Germany in a completely impulsive, non-thoughtful, non-strategic way And that is done So we’re in the middle of struggling We in the United States, I should say are in the middle of struggling with this whole challenge of what to do about the balance between Russian aggression and Chinese aggression Any other comments or questions? – Yes, professor So talking about China has done to Taiwan, does India has done with same thing with Kashmir? – And so? – And so do you see that this will have another like impact in another 10 or 20 years?
Like what you have to wonder that there some sort of personal things in the mind of Kashmir that they had that, but particularly after the obligation of article 370 that we have taken their freedom And so it’s a long lasting impact on them – You know, I’m very reluctant to comment on your country’s actions because I’m sure each of you understands them more profoundly than I do, but I was deeply concerned because of the splitting of Kashmir into two parts and asserting new levels of ending control over the Muslim population of Kashmir provides a further humiliation for the Muslim population of that region Plus a further humiliation of Pakistan, which sees itself as the rightful protectors at least of the people of Kashmir And suggest to me quite unnecessary provocation, the Muslim population of India When you put that together with the ruling that refugees from neighboring countries who are Muslim are not entitled to Indian citizenship, and add that to the BJP Hindu nationalism, you get a story which does not contribute to long-term stability within India driven by what I see as relatively short-term political goals So I find that all quite disturbing Now that’s my level of understanding of what’s going on and you may have a much more profound understanding of that than I do Any comments or rebuttals to that idea? let me move on to a couple of other examples of humiliation So here is Vladimir Putin, and I already mentioned that the collapse of the Soviet Union was the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the 20th century And here are two people, three people actually as you can see, Alexei Navalny, poisoned on 20th August, 2020 with Novichok and Yulia and Sergel Skirpal poisoned in 2018 And Skirpol remember was living in the Soviet, living in Great Britain He had been a spy for the British in the Soviet Union for which he was never forgiven by the Russian secret police And he was poisoned with Novichok and I think incidentally, it was not meant to be but his daughter was also poisoned And here is Navalny, the leading opposition figure to Putin in Russia, poisoned in 2020 So there’s no doubt about this poisoning because Novichok is not available at your local pharmacy in Moscow You know, this is something that’s tightly held by a Russian military This is a Russian military poison that was created to be used in war And the only explanation is that someone with access to Russian military equipment could have access to this poisoning And it was done either directly by orders of the Kremlin or by someone high up in the authority ’cause no one else would take the risk of doing this And of course this is not the only person to have been poisoned, we know that Boris Nemtsov who had been the deputy prime minister on the Yeltsin was killed
on the bridge across the Moscow river on the way to the Kremlin an unbelievable act because there’s so many cameras on those bridges that no one without official permission would have dared to have made a murder of an opposition figure that close to the Kremlin without some kind of official authorization So there’ve been, we know of a very large number of the murder or attempted murder of opposition figures in Russia, the latest one being Navalny now recovering in a Berlin hospital so that the repression of people within Russia itself is really staggering And it’s clear that Putin wants to resurrect the good old days for him which means Soviet oppression, ruthless control of the Soviet of the Russian people without the democracy that might lead to his losing power And I think that’s because he sees the history of the Soviet Union, the collapse of the Soviet Union as such a personal humiliation of himself And of course you see what the Russians are doing in Ukraine Here are the Eastern provinces of Ukraine, as I mentioned, Luhansk and Donetsk are occupied by Russians, and then you see Crimea where the Soviet Naval base in the Black Sea and Sevastopol is located seized in 2014 And just as an aside, on the left of this picture you see Transnistria, which is this group of people who decided they didn’t want to be part of Ukraine and didn’t want to be part of the Moldova And there are Russian troops now posted in that area to prevent either Ukraine from taking over Transnistria or Moldovan troops from doing so I visited these pink provinces in 1960 And the reason they’re inhabited by Russians is that they were the major manufacturing heavy industry hub of Ukraine And they, remember, there was not a real crucial distinction between Ukraine and Russia in the era we’re talking about when there was a Soviet Union, and so major manufacturing plants were located in these areas East of Ukraine right up against Russia, and Russians were sent to work in the factories of Ukraine And this was started by Stalin who re-industrialized the Soviet Union in preparation for a war with Germany, which Stalin correctly understood was coming And so that’s how all these Russians ended up in Eastern Ukraine and that legitimated Russia under Putin from in effect seizing these territories away from the independent country of Ukraine And of course now in September of 2015, Russia realized that it had an opportunity to turn around the Syrian civil war And in September of 2015, they sent in the troops preserving Bashar al-Assad’s regime Syria was always allied with Russia which it saw as its best hope against Israel, ’cause Syria is of course was very weak And indeed the weakness of Bashar al-Assad the son of Hafez al-Assad was demonstrated by the fact that by September of 2015, he was losing his authority and he was going to be defeated in the civil war Russia sent in the troops and they preserved Bashar al-Assad and now Syria is really a mess because we have ISIS, we have Iranian Shiite militias, we have American troops, we have Russian troops, we have Syrian, Sunni troops, all operating in Syria And the country is devastated with tens of millions
of refugees in other countries right now And then of course now it’s happening in Libya So in 2011, there was an uprising against Mohammed Gaddafi, Muammar Gaddafi sorry And what happened was, this gentleman who was shaking hands with the Russian foreign minister formed a country, Grand National Accord, the GNA which is headquartered in Tripoli, the capital of Libya, but in the East of the country, a general who actually turned out to be a U.S. citizen because he fled Muhammad Gaddafi who was going to kill him And he ended up living in Virginia and he became a U.S. citizen So Hafter has gone back to Libya, formed the militia in the Eastern part of militia of Libya which is now supported by Russia Turkey is supporting this guy shaking hands with the Russian foreign ministry And Russia is preventing the unification of Libya by contributing to the militarization of General Hafter So just another example of Russian aggression in making conflicts within the Middle East more serious than they have been And in Iraq, just to stay with the Middle East for a minute, this American invasion of Iraq has been described by senior American military offices as the single most catastrophic foreign policy decision in the history of the United States So here is the statue of Saddam Hussein being torn down And on the other side, you see the guy with the beard He’s the leading Shiite militia cleric in Iran known as Ayatollah Sistani And underneath that you see a picture of Saddam with some military men Well, the decision to invade Iraq was the greatest catastrophe in the history of American foreign policy The second greatest catastrophic decision in the history of American foreign policy was the decision made on 23 May 2003 by the new American head of what was called the Coalition Provisional Authority, a guy named Paul Bremer, a guy I had known for many years, a total fucking jerk And what decision did he make? He made the decision to disband Saddam’s army which was overwhelmingly made up of Sunnis because remember Saddam was a Sunni, and he was afraid of guys with the white beard, the Shiites, whom he felt as his natural enemies So we disbanded the military of Iraq, leaving tens of thousands of Sunni military officers with military training and capabilities who felt humiliated not only by the defeat of Saddam himself, but then further humiliated by the disbanding of the military sending them home ending their lives And the only meaning they had in their lives up until that point was the military So what did they do? They formed ISIS or Daesh if you want to call it the Islamic State And so where did that come from? It came from a horrendously stupid decision by the United States which drove the Sunni offices into a new form, ISIS And we all know how destructive ISIS has been You wonder where they got all these trucks, the Iraqi military And so to this day, even though there’s no territory that’s really controlled by ISIS, the greatest threat to the integrity of both Syria and Iraq comes from the presence of these guys who were still rolling around in the desert And this was directly the result of this catastrophic
American decision inflicting humiliation on the Sunni military and then leading them to the formation of ISIS So again, I want to stop here before I talk about Erdogan Ask any questions – Yes, professor, may I go ahead? – [Professor] Yeah – So in your slides, you’ve been speaking about humiliation, number two, you have used the word perceived humiliation So this sense of perception of humiliation at national levels is like historical wrongs You may not be able to do away with that easily But when I see it, the example that you mentioned about China and Russia, China doesn’t direct its rage towards Russia or Manchuria, but rather it does it over Kashmir, that may be because of economic reasons So my question is regarding the rule of economics, so does that drive as a channel to channelize your rage one, and second, at grass root level, if there is decentralization – political, economic, so on – does that take care of that rage? Because if people are not supporting the government, actual mobilization of the rage may be restricted – Those are good questions, very good questions, very important questions And I do think the first, let me address the first question as I understood it which is, if one is humiliated, how does one direct one’s rage? What are the factors that lead to one’s direction of rage? And if you look at what happens in the United States I will make a generalization about the United States, which is a great generalization You know, in the first instance, people tend to direct their rage at the people who are closest to them And that’s why there’s so much domestic conflict in the United States So for example, an individual feels rage in the United States having been humiliated at work will come home and you know there’s a famous expression in America You get humiliated at work you come home and you kick the dog You know, it’s the dog’s fault, but a better example of that is get humiliated at work and you come home and you kick your wife If it weren’t for her, everything would be great I mean, this woman is always, you know you can just hear this guy going on and on and on And divorce is very high in America for a lot of those reasons because it’s easy to kick your wife or your dog Now that’s entirely different from a national But if a leader wants to mobilize the population behind the campaign against something, he has to find an element which already resonates within the people So Mr. Modi is really not going to be able to mobilize a lot of Indian public sentiment against Thailand You know, a lot of Indians have a lot of feelings about Thailand, but you know we’ve got other problems, Prime Minister Modi, we can’t deal with Thailand But getting people worked up about Muslims is obviously something that’s easier to do and it works better Or against Pakistan, we know this is a great idea And now against China because of the line so-called line of control So it has to be something that resonates that makes it easier And economic issues are often a part of that calculation Part of that calculation Now, wait a minute What was the second question? It was also a really good question – The second question was that if you in society implement decentralization, in real sense maybe political, economic, will that help control the rage because then people may not be mobilized for such false or historical wrongs, whatever it is that, that old rage – I think that’s a very good point but I think it’s very hard to generate decentralization One of the things that works in the United States is that we have 50 States and that they have governments and that they have tremendous leeway to try to see what works, so that we get, and some people have said there are like 50 experiments in democracy going on and you can see which one works best
But the reality is that the national government in the United States has tremendous sway over public opinion and over power And so, yes, I think decentralization is a factor which diminishes the capacity of a leader on the national level to mobilize the entire country But it certainly doesn’t eliminate it That’s what I would say Anything else? Well, let me talk a little bit about what’s going on with President Erdogan of Turkey And this is a perfect example of a president who’s in, who’s come back I just want to show you this first and then I’ll come back Here is a chart of the increase in autocracy at least as measured by something called the varieties of democracy project as you can see And there’s been an increase of autocracy in the United States, you see it down near the bottom of approaching 20% and you can see India has been an increase of autocracy as measured by these guys about 30%, but nobody in the world has seen an increase in autocracy as has President Erdogan And the question is, what’s going on with Erdogan? Well, let me come back here So here is, here’s one thing that’s going on with Erdogan You know there’s a history with Erdogan between Greece and Turkey that’s gone on since the ’20s And it used to be the case, remember, that most of Western Turkey where the word Turkey is, was entirely 100% Greek And when Mustafa Kemal Ataturk won the war at the end of the First World War for the independence of Turkey and created the Republic of Turkey, millions of Greeks were expelled from Western Turkey and fled to Greece, or to the islands immediately off the coast of Greece And you can see all these blue islands, how close they are to the Turkish mainland, because once they got out of the Turkish mainland, and they landed on these islands, Ataturk didn’t have the capability of you know seaborne assault vehicles that he was going to land on these islands and kick the Greek side of these islands So this is the way it looked for many, many years And of course, what’s the point now, as you’re going to see in the bottom right, there’s a Turkish ship exploring for natural gas because there have been huge signs of natural gas in the Eastern Mediterranean So at the bottom of the map here you see Cyprus, and Cyprus has found huge amount of natural gas and below that you would come to Israel and Egypt, both of which have found huge amounts of natural gas in the Mediterranean, the Eastern Mediterranean And Turkey wants its share of the natural gas The problem is, because Greece claims that every one of these islands off the Turkish coast has a sea shelf, which means that, that island controls up to 12 kilometers or 12 miles I should say of sea around the island There really is no place for Turkey to look for the natural gas that would otherwise be its own territory There is no territory that’s not claimed by Greece you see, so Erdogan is absolutely apoplectic that Turkey mind you has no energy sources of its own So it’s really starved for energy and everything It consumes in the way of energy, the basic issue of economic development, it imports And so here is Greece, here is Israel, here is Egypt suddenly acquiring huge amounts of natural gas, which is so immense that they’re building a pipeline to
Europe because they can’t use all the gas that they themselves have found So Erdogan is beside himself with that and is on the verge of some kind of military action I mean, here’s a more detailed map You can see the area around Cyprus which is mostly Greek-controlled if you like and then underneath you see the various gas fields that Israel and Egypt have found and Erdogan has responded with force You can see in the bottom right, the white and red ship is the gas drilling ship, but it’s surrounded by Turkish military vessels to protect it from Greek military vessels So this is a real source That’s a real source of conflict that may arise And what is Erdogan humiliated about? Well, remember he was refused admission to the European Union Europeans didn’t want Muslims, Europeans didn’t want to allow an increase in the sway of Muslims or the influence of Muslims, or the number of Muslims into the European Union And they ended up denying Erdogan the right to enter the European Union So Erdogan turned his attention to the Middle East and returned to what was called an Ottoman foreign policy, fuck the Europeans, were going to work with the Middle East, and the response has been Turkey’s now involved with a lot of conflicts in the Middle East, one with the United States in Syria, conflict with Russia and Syria, conflict in Libya And the list actually goes on and Erdogan is angrier and angrier in is inability to do anything about the gas and to extricate themselves So one of his solutions, there’ve been two solutions so far One is, to increase the Islamization of Turkey And here’s just one symbol of Islamization of Turkey Here is Mr. Erdogan with his beautiful wife Emine And you can see the way she is attired that even one lock of a hair is not allowed to be shown because she is the exemplar of perfect Kurdish versions of appropriate Islamic dress for women And of course, the other way is the one I mentioned which is, he’s increasing the repression and the autocracy which he controls, with which he controls Turkey So it’s quite scary situation in which a man humiliated by Europe is on the verge of conflict And just, let me kind of conclude my remarks with a few words about Iran So, you know, we have, this is what’s happened to the Iranian currency, and you can talk about inflation You can see what’s happened to the Iranian rial And I was there in January of ’78, you came up with a dollar, you got 70 rials 2012 you got 24,000 rials In 2020, 269,000 rials Imagine if you’re an Iranian and you’re worried about the collapse of your currency and you want to buy dollars as a safe haven against the further depreciation of the rial You have to come up with 270,000 rial to buy a dollar So you can see what’s happened to people’s currency and to what drives inflation in Iran, which is phenomenally high And I don’t want to detract from the role of American sanction I mean, they have been tremendously punishing and in my view, entirely wrong headed, I want you to know Because the people who are suffering in Iran are Iranians Believe me, the guys who run the military, it economics leads to the so-called Supreme leader,
a jerk beyond measure So-called supreme leader, they’re not suffering, they get their caviar just like they used to in the old days the people who are suffering are people on the street, and that’s all generated by mismanagement of Iranian economy by the Iranians, and then secondly by the horrendous sanctions So what’s Iran response? The Shiite Belt Iran’s sudden decision to become aggressive in its foreign policy in Yemen, in Iraq, in Syria And when it can get away with it on the Eastern shores of Saudi Arabia, where there are a lot of Shiites, and so Iranian foreign policy can you imagine Iran is under sanctions, the oil exports have gone from like 3 million barrels a day to less than 400,000 barrels a day The price of oil used to be $120 a barrel it’s now $42, So the quantity of oil has collapsed The price of oil has collapsed, Iran is depending on the price of oil for its revenues And it’s chosen this time to generate an aggressive foreign policy, which costs money, personnel, military supplies and reputations And it’s like, what are they possibly thinking? They could benefit from, and the answer is, this is their response to the humiliation they have suffered And of course, the continued nuclear program which you’ll notice they have spread all over the country as a way of protecting nuclear sites from the possibility of U.S. retaliation They have enhanced their nuclearlization Now, think about the Iranian dilemma What are they worried about? They’re worried about Donald Trump’s commitment to regime change I believe that the purpose of the sanctions is Trump’s belief believe that if the noose is tight enough the Iranian people will rise up and overthrow the regime I think this is 100% wrong, it’s not going to happen The regime has not lost its will the govern, nor has it lost the military capability to suppress the Iranian people So the ones who are suffering are the Iranian people and Trump is pursuing a stupid foreign policy But if I were an Iranian, I would be very interested in what they call a screwdriver away from having a nuclear weapon ’cause that meant I could put together a bomb real fast if I felt that I was being threatened So I see Iran’s interest in nukes as a defense against American aggression And the same thing goes with the missiles, which they continue to develop, which remember were not part of the JCPOA, or so-called nuclear agreement And so this is the way Iran sees the United States You know, that it’s United States has a gun to the head of the Iranians And I think that’s pretty accurate And this is what’s happening to the oil production As I mentioned earlier, just plummeted And this shows oil at about 2,000,007 falling to less than 400,000 So, then finally, maybe the greatest humiliation in the Middle East, and you all know this story And I just want to emphasize that the experience of the Arabs and of the Palestinians has been a profound current deepening sense of humiliation only exacerbated by the willingness of the United Emirates to make a peace treaty with Israel in the last few weeks And so the idea of the failure of the Arabs has been profound and profoundly humiliating And for the time being, the only thing that this humiliation does is, eats the Arabs alive
Let me tell you, and I’m not going to go into this I’m not going to go into this And here’s a wonderful quote from somebody in Cairo, which I think is absolutely right They are “oppressed, constrained, and unable to do anything,” not by the Israelis any longer, by the Egyptian government And what’s the problem with the Arab world? The Arab world is living in another world It’s not living in the same world we’re living in Here’s an example of what I’m talking about This is from the United Nations Development Program, in the year 2000, fewer books were translated from foreign languages into Arabic than were translated from foreign languages into Greek 300 million people speak Arabic, 11 million people speak Greek So the Arabs are in some way on a different planet And their efforts to deal with humiliations have failed and the Arab world in general is a failure And we will see much more conflict in the Middle East coming out of that, coming out of that humiliation which is certainly not run its course and will continue to harass us indefinitely This is of course I have a grammatical error here A sense of having been humiliated is an important source of rage which has frequently resulted in the countries striking out And so again, I want to repeat that while humiliation is not THE only factor, it’s one of many in this idea of overdetermination It’s the one that’s most often overlooked And I hope as you go through your educations, as you prepare yourself for public policy, you’ll keep in mind the role that humiliation plays and see ways in which you can moderate the pain of the humiliation So that it does not contribute to future conflicts And in that regard, I wish you all the very best of good luck So thank you very much, those are my remarks for today – Thank you so much, Dr. Zonis This is definitely one of the most comprehensive lectures I’ve sat through in my life I feel like I’m old as history explored just by having sat through in this two hour lecture Thank you so so much for having taken out the time and addressing the scholars – Thank you very much for your invitation I appreciate it Thank you, Luis, for your lovely introduction, and I wish you all the greatest of success let me tell you something, India needs you That’s what I would tell you So good luck – Marvin, I’m amazed that you could spend in your 80s two hours talking I can see some of the scholars looking tired but you don’t look it, except for your throat a bit I don’t know how you do it here – I’m lucky I- – Must be Lucy, must be Lucy’s great caring of you – No question my wife is keeping me alive and energetic I’ll tell her you passed that on – Marvin, we’ve got a couple of questions out over here Has he gone off? – No, he’s still here – There are a couple of questions I don’t know whether you have time to look at them at the bottom I know people are tired, et cetera, but if you want to sort of just address a couple of the questions which some of the scholars have asked, maybe the last two – How do I do that? Go to chat? – Go to chat, yep, and you’ll see them – I see that – Is it okay with you guys? Since you’ve asked a question I thought it will be useful to get them here – You know, this is an interesting question, ’cause (indistinct) has asked about societies where the idea of self is community-based In many ways you see, if there’s a communal self mobilizing that community for action after a perceived communal humiliation, is much easier than
in an individualistic society Thus for example, Erdogan has been more successful in mobilizing the Muslims of Turkey than it is easy to mobilize Americans, ’cause Americans you know, they’re all individuals, don’t tell me about these African-Americans nor do I care about African-Americans, I’m a white guy who lives in North Dakota I have nothing to do with, there are no African-Americans around me I couldn’t care less, but when it’s communal-based, and when people have a sense of connection to a larger entity than themselves or their individual selves, then this can be used I believe more effectively to mobilize people in the event of a humiliation Bangladesh is increases higher than and that’s really important Well, when you know you’ll look when, there’s an interesting question, what does it say about the EU’s conception of regionalism, like Germany and France And I think what the question is referring to is that in some important way, the European Union is made up of regions rather than countries And individual countries are divided up into regions, and the aid from the European Union goes to the regions of countries who are above or are below the average wellbeing of all the regions of the European Union That’s how they allocate development funds However, that really doesn’t work for anything other than development funds because the reality is nationalism is very powerful and we can see Germany’s unwillingness for example to assume responsibility for the debt burdens of what they considered to be the irresponsible South, goes around spending much more money than the responsible North that means Germany allows itself to spend I think it’s not regionalism is not really as powerful in Europe as we think Then on the question of Nord Stream Well, I think the export of natural gas by Russia is crucial to its survival as a country And in that sense, it will put every possible resource into perpetuating this Nord Stream, two pipeline and the completion of the pipeline to Germany which I see not so much as a strategic gain for Russia, but as an economic gain for Russia If you look at the Russian economy, it’s pathetic I mean, how many of you guys are driving Russian cars, probably not too many And so Russia is essentially an oil and gas exporting country And so it’s a gas station That’s what it is, you know, sells natural gas and sells oil and nothing else is going on And Putin has utterly failed to transform the Russian economy from a natural gas and oil export into an industrial powerhouse And it’s really quite pathetic And so the Nord Stream too is crucial to the economy of Russia and its sustainability and they will do whatever they can to have it happen And I think that probably Germany appreciates that and it will not feel what Donald Trump thinks it should feel, which is strategic pressure as much it will see it as an economic opportunity to get cheap natural gas from Russia And so I think that’s probably going to go on and the the Germans aren’t going to be taken in by that India’s [sic] in the Arab world Well, you know what’s the reason? Why did the UAE sign this deal with Israel?
And there’s a couple of interesting answers to that One is, Israel and the UAE are both afraid of Iran Is that fear legitimate? Maybe Number two, the UAE has been trying to buy advanced weapons from the United States to defend itself against Iran, because remember the UAE is an island of both stability and military and economic wellbeing In another way, it’s a very rocky area And Netanyahu has had a veto over U.S. sales of advanced military hardware to the UAE, because Netanyahu has always feared that the UAE would get this military hardware and then give it to some Arab State to use against Israel So the UAE, in order to get to buy this stuff, had to convince Netanyahu to allow the United States to sell this stuff to them And what did Netanyahu get? Netanyahu is an indicted criminal remember by the Israeli Supreme Court Netanyahu got the gratitude of the United States and the recognition of Israel by an important Arab State, not important in terms of the size of the population, but this is a modernized, the first Arab country to really modernize and get with the 20th century And I gave you some statistics about other Arab countries where they’re at and the UAE is really hip, relatively speaking not democratic in any way So that was the trade-off and Trump comes out looking good as if he had anything to do with all this which he didn’t And so the reality is, I think the factors that have led India to favor the Arab world are weakening as much as the factors of that the UAE that favor the Arab world are weakening The reality is Israel is a developed country with huge economic benefits and tremendous talent in all of the modern sectors of an economy, and it’s become a wealthy country And as the issue of Muslims has declined in India for the present government, the natural ally of India is becoming Israel and not Jordan or Egypt or even Saudi Arabia You know, I’m going to have to sign off now – Thanks a lot, Marvin Thanks for the extra time And we look forward to seeing you in Chicago someday